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Dark Covenant – Eulogies For The Fallen

Dark Covenant
Eulogies For The Fallen
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 03 July 2011, 9:02 PM

Life's sorrows and pain, as a discomfort to all, have their way to lay their heavy heads on one's shoulders. However, those two are also ways of expression. When such negativities come across mythologies and an everlasting rage against modernity, this might be a different experience and can be a powerful one. The bunch of the Canadians of DARK COVENANT, of French origin, attempted to create, along with emotions, the same sensation of classic Doom Metal as it was portrayed in the 80s. With their debut album, "Eulogies For The Fallen", via their French label of Emanes Metal Records, another Doom Metal monster brought the classic stuff back to life.

When I listened to DARK COVENANT for the first time, I couldn't help but notice the strong correspondences to older Doom stars as BLACK SABBATH and CANDLEMASS. Come to think of it, I think that the 70s version of SABBATH mixed with the early to mid 80s of   CANDLEMASS was quite something for this band. Besides being gloomy and dreary as most of the Doom Metal material of the 80s, DARK COVENANT shared a bit more than the average Doom band. On the other hand, I can't say that I was that overly satisfied with the material.

The first thing that drew my attention was the problems with the production, especially the mixing side. Firstly, I had a hard time to enjoy the passionate voice of the mini Marcolin, Vjohrrnt Wodansson. The vocal line was vastly into the deep trenches of the guitar and bass lines screaming in agonizing pain just to be heard. Secondly, and that was an equal drag as the vocals, the drums, more than a few moments, seemed to be out of the mix. The meaning of this was that the drum set, especially the snare, was almost non-existent. The snare and base drum were so important on those palm mute sections, shame that those weren't that noticeable when needed. Better luck next time. Putting the material aside for a moment, I am sure that without those errors it would have been another story for this album.

Production sideways, there times when I felt that DARK COVENANT could have done more in order to slay with "Eulogies For The Fallen". Some of the tunes were quite normal for Doom Metal and didn't amaze that much. To be exact, there were only two tracks that really did it for me. Those tracks were the eternal Doom to-be-classic "Black Sun Rising" and "Visions Of Salvation". Those two, especially the former, showed the precise way of forging a Heavy Metal inspired Doom track without recycling the same old 70s SABBATH kind of riffs and those same tempos that sometimes seemed to follow the next burial in the graveyard near you.

I promise that the rest of "Eulogies For The Fallen" didn't take a tumble, yet I sensed that DARK COVENANT provided only shards of what they can really do. The next time around will be different. 

3 Star Rating

1. The End-Time Congregation (Intro)
2. Forever Amongst the Ruins
3. Visions of Salvation
4. Ascension Denied
5. Black Raven
6. Perennial Solitude
7. Black Sun Rising
8. A Broken Sword Reforged
9. Dirgevows (Outro)
Vjohrrnt Wodansson- Vocals
Evil Lair- Guitar
Somatophylax – Bass
Record Label: Emanes Metal Records


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